The modern job hunt looks deceptively simple. Search major search engines, find a job posting and send off your resume. Easy, right? You feel so productive. You’ve sent off five applications today, you tell yourself. Repeat that for a couple of weeks and you’re bound to get calls for interviews.
You choose big companies to target because big companies have resources and funds to compensate you, and plenty of opportunities for advancement. Small or mid-size companies are too complicated. How do you know if they’ll have what you need?
So you email your resume to big-name companies. Then you wait. You don’t hear back, so you double the number of applications. More is more, right?
The truth is, no one wants to hire strangers, even strangers with great resumes. They want to hire someone they know. Top picks include a friend of a trusted, high-performing employee, or a current employee ready to move up.
If you’re currently unemployed or trying to change industries or careers, forget about landing a lot of interviews with online applications. You’re lost in a pile, weeded out by an applicant tracking system that doesn’t care if you have transferable skills.
The truth is, online applications feel productive, but they’re actually lazy. Yes, I know, you struggled with every word on your resume. And maybe you even crafted cover letters to catch their eye. But you’re hiding behind the computer screen. It feels safe.
If you want a good job in your industry, you need to know the companies, the people, the industry. You need to go beyond big names and find the hidden gems in your industry, the companies doing solid work and treating their employees with respect. You need to get out from behind the desk, out with real people, breathing the same air, talking about the problems the industry is facing.